Log this one under the times they’re are a changin’. The left-leaning mainstream media mavens at msnbc.com have discovered the simple joys of shooting and eating squirrel! Well, not “simple” obviously. We’re talking expensive over-and-under shotguns, designer shades, a primo junket to a Texas hunting ranch and gourmet recipes. And, of course, a cookbook. “In ‘Girl Hunter,’ which is part memoir and part cookbook, Pellegrini [above left] is just as committed to exploring humans’ relationship with their food as she is to making virtually any kind of game meat — from dove to javelina to bison to rabbit to squirrel — taste fabulous.” Yes it’s true: msnbc dropped the “f-bomb.” And the spin doctor is in . . .
She writes about the powerful experiences of hiking outdoors for hours before making a kill and paying “the full karmic price” of a meal, then makes readers drool with her descriptions of the dishes she’s prepared and eaten. There are brandy sauces, sherry sauces, whiskey glazes, delicious stuffings and mouthwatering marinades — all of which could pair well with a vast array of meats.
“Game really can taste as high-level as any other protein,” Pellegrini said. “You just have to change up the ingredients a little bit and be careful when you cook it. These animals are athletes, basically, so their meat is really lean. It’s less fatty with no marbling in their flesh.”
Karma, low-fat diet, etc. But squirrels? Can upmarket cooks reconcile their newfound love of doing what Americans have been doing since the first firearm arrived in the New World (and before) with shooting and eating tree rats, like some, some, redneck? But Charlie, Pellegrine doesn’t want rodents with good taste . . .
But do athletic little squirrels taste good?
“They’re delicious,” Pellegrini enthused. “I think it’s one of my favorite game meats right now. Think about it: You are what you eat, and they eat acorns. People spend a fortune for acorn-fed pigs. Squirrels are buttery and a little bit sweet because when animals eat nuts it makes their flesh sweet and nutty, and it creates an inherent fattiness in the meat.”
Not entirely convinced? You can check out Pellegrini’s recipe for squirrel Brunswick stew with acorns (yes, acorns! a nice touch!) by clicking here. If squirrel isn’t up your alley, you can also get her recipes for Moroccan bison stew, turkey meatloaf and partridge with pancetta in orange brandy sauce . . .
“Even if you don’t think you can pull the trigger yourself, thinking about it can make you a more conscious meat eater,” she said. “It can change the decisions you make about the quality, variety and sources of your food.”
I recommend a communal pre-meal hunting visualization session for foodies. Still, point taken. And about time too. [h/t to Aharon for the link]